Saturday, December 11, 2010

H&H2: Peinture L'essence

For my Heads and Hands 2 class this week, I had to paint a portrait from a photo provided of an art model. (You might recognize this woman from past assignments). I learned a new technique of painting with oil paints on cardboard, called "peinture l'essence." This technique was created by one of my favorite painters of all time, Edgar Degas, to mimic the look of dry pastels using oil paints, and was often used by the great Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, as well.

I had never been a huge fan of oil painting before, but I absolutely LOVE this new technique! Thanks, Degas!

Lesson Learned: Oil paints dry quickly if you paint on cardboard! I used a piece of cardboard as a palette and thinned the paint with turpenoid before painting on the board. The pigment dried instantly, making it possible to layer the paint without it getting muddy. It was like using dry pastels, but easier because I could apply it with a brush! I was never patient enough to enjoy oil painting, but now I don't have to be patient anymore! Yay!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Illustration 2: Animal Illustrations

For this assignment, we had to choose an animal to first paint realistically and then turn into a character. I chose to illustrate a Muscovy duck.

I saw this duck at a park near Lake Merritt in Oakland last year with my family. It had so much personality and I took a ton of photos of it. I went back to the park to take more photos for my project and it was still there!

Before I knew the that it was a Muscovy duck, I thought that it was some kind of weird chicken-duck hybrid, so I called him Chuck the Chicken-Duck.

Here is the realistic rendering of the Muscovy duck painted with watercolors:

When it came time to turn the duck into a character, I made him into a nerd. The duck at the park seemed like a nerd with the way he waddled and wheezed, and the other ducks picked on him and stole his food.

Here is my finished watercolor illustration of Chuck the Duck:

Lesson Learned: Use references when creating animal characters. It is so much easier to create a character if you have an image to start from. I took over 100 photos of the Muscovy duck in the park and spent some time observing it so that I could have a starting point to create this character. I was able to develop a character with a personality based on the real duck's mannerisms and a characterized look based on the real anatomy of the duck.

Monday, December 6, 2010

H&H2: Composite Drawing

For this week's assignment, I had to combine an image of me with one of an animal. I decided to use a Siberian tiger as my animal reference. I was lucky enough to find a photo of a tiger in the exact same pose as a photo that Greg had taken of me for a self-portrait assignment

And here is the composite drawing that I did using the two photos as references:

Lesson Learned: When combining references, always try to find images with the most similar pose and lighting as possible. It will make your drawing so much more realistic looking.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

CFD2 Mucha Copy

For homework over Thanksgiving break, we were assigned to study one of the works of the great Alphonse Mucha. (Check out some of his INCREDIBLE artwork here:

I picked one of his most lovely decorative panels, Summer 1896. I used colored pencils for this thorough study of Mucha's figure drawing techniques. It was not required to use color for this assignment, but Mucha's use of color was so masterful that I did not want to overlook what I could learn from mimicking his use of color as well as his design and drawing techniques.

Lesson Learned: Line weight is extremely important in figure drawing. Varying line weight adds interest and dimension to the drawing and helps to define overlapping forms and contours of shapes.